Even among the most health-conscious individuals, it can be a challenge to keep healthy at a desk job – particularly in the area of nutrition. Between sitting all day and the temptations of vending machines, local delis and break room donuts, healthy habits can take a backseat from 9-5. However, it is possible to break the cycle and maintain full-time health with a full-time office job with these do’s and dont’s:
Do meal prep.
Planning ahead will reduce your risk of eating out during lunch, where most individuals consume more calories, sodium and sugar than we would with a home-cooked meal. Invest in Tupperware, and prep protein and veggie-heavy lunches on Sunday and Wednesdays to keep your meals fresh and varied. Bonus: your wallet will thank you!
Do stock a snack drawer.
Avoid the temptation of vending machine snacks by keeping a drawer at your desk stocked with healthy snacks. Opt for snacks that will keep you full and satisfied throughout the day like nuts, protein bars and beef jerky. Stow tea and your favorite mug in this drawer to avoid mid-day trips with your coworkers to Starbucks for the sugary frappuccino.
Do have accountability coworkers.
Bored with your meal-prepped lunches? Round up a group of coworkers who each prepare a batch of one meal for the week – and swap with each other on specified days throughout the week. This will add in variety and reduce the amount your team peer pressures each other into hitting up the local taco stand.
Don’t microwave fish – or broccoli.
While you may think your salmon dish or bag of broccoli smells appetizing, your whole break room may be left with a funky smell afterwards. Save these dishes for your dinners, and be courteous to your coworkers!
Don’t stare at your screen while munching away.
It has been proven time and time again that eating while working at a computer contributes to overeating. Set an Outlook calendar reminder to take your meal outside or into a break room. If you really can’t peel away from your cubicle, pick up a journal or book for a few minutes at your desk so you are away from your screen.
Don’t fall into the trap of office goodies everyday, but do splurge now and then!
It’s hard to not run to the break room when cake or donuts are announced, but take a lap around your building with a snack from your drawer before grabbing the sugary treat. Do you really want it? If you are still craving that goodie, take half a treat! Moderation is key, so hold yourself to once a week.